Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday Special Stones - Garnet



Garnets are found in the U.S. in Arizona and largely in Idaho. The Garnet Queen Mine in Idaho produces a highly saturated dark red garnet. Arizona is known for a garnet ranging in color and clarity from fiery red to reddish lavender. Other states that have notable occurrences of garnet include: New Mexico, Utah, Arkansas and Kentucky. This stone is also found around the world. Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Mozambique produces significant amounts of this gem. It is also mined in Bavaria, Germany, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Sri Lanka, the Ural Mountains in Russia, and Brazil, as well as India, Madagascar, Bohemia, Switzerland, Scotland, Asia, Saxony, Canada, Pakistan, Burma and Mexico. Garnet gets it's name from the Latin word "granatum" meaning seed or grain. It took on this name for it's similarity in looks to a pomegranate seed. Pomegranate's association and symbolism with garnet has been a long standing one and has been referenced and related to in many works of literature up to and including those of Greek Mythology - the most notable reference involving Hades and Persephone.The most popular color Garnet is known for is a deep maroon or dark red color but garnet is a family of gems that come in many different colors (excluding blue). Throughout history some garnets have been mistaken for rubies because of their tendency to exhibit a different shade of color when viewed from different directions under certain light conditions. Garnet is a semiprecious stone that is brilliant in jewelry. In Europe, they were worked into jewelry a good deal, especially in the Victorian period. Genuine Bohemian garnet jewelry was traditionally set with a large number of small stones, which were close to one another like the seeds of a pomegranate, with their red sparkle. And today too, garnets are still found in former Czechoslovakia and when used in jewelry, set close together according to the old tradition.

The legends surrounding garnet show the long standing history of it's healing properties and garnet was also among the first semiprecious stones to be mentioned in writings in ancient times. Garnet has been known as the stone which was the source of illumination for Noah in the Ark to light the path and the inside of the boat. It is also noted that Crusaders adorned themselves with garnets as protection in battle and a symbol of safe return to their loved ones. The garnet is also one of the twelve stones, that represent today's birthstones, that adorn the breastplate of the high priest Aaron, and Garnet is also believed to have been worn by King Solomon in times of battle. In the 13th century Garnets were worn to repel insects, and some Asiatic tribes once used garnets as bullets, believing that the red stone would cause a more deadly wound than a leaden bullet. There has been said to exist a village of "lake dwellers" around the area now known as Europe who fashioned neck ornaments from it - jewelry has been found that dates back to the Bronze Age (~3000 BC). It also has a deep history with warriors and journeyers. It's rich mythical and historical background contribute to the brilliance of it's beauty. Garnet has long been associated with fire and illumination for many ancient cultures and has been used by various Indian tribes to enhance the potency of fire and to heal and enlighten their people. Among these tribal groups are Mayans, Aztecs, certain African tribes, Native American and South American Indians. It has also been said that garnet has been ground up into a soft silky mass and heated to act as a medicinal remedy for fever. Eastern Indians rubbed garnet on themselves in order to obtain their glowing qualities.  Garnet has also been said to light the palace of the medieval monarch of Abyssinia.  It has been known to be buried, in jewelry form (necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, pendants and amulets) with the dead of Scandinavia to light their passage to the next life. In early writings garnet had been mistaken for rubies and were said to fend off evil spirits. Garnet has also been noted to adorn the belongings of powerful royalty. Some of these include the wives of the Russian Czars, Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Mary Queen of Scots. Documentation of ancient jewelry containing garnet has been found among remains located in Sweden between 1100 and 2000 B.C., in Samaria around 2300 B.C. and in Egypt in 3100 B.C. As early as the later years of 400 B.C., garnet jewelry was found in Greece. More specifically, signet rings found (in this area of Europe) were discovered. It is believed that Greeks were the first to use garnet at this capacity. Garnet has also been documented as a largely admired treasure in Greece during the 3rd and 4th centuries. As mentioned previously, garnet had been found as early as 3100 B.C. in Egypt. It has further been noted that early Egyptians frequently used garnet in amulets and talismans. Garnet was also believed to buried within the tombs of the dead for protection and light through the passage of after death experience.

Garnet is believed to have served many medicinal purposes some of which were recorded throughout Medieval History. Documents dating from this time period state that garnets had been believed to protect one from poisons. Other sicknesses were believed to be cured by garnet including those dealing with blood and infection. Garnet is called the "stone of health", as it is a powerful healing stone (especially green garnets). Only clear Garnets, cut and polished should be used for healing. Garnet has also been known (by ancient Egyptians and others) to purify the body of toxins such as venoms, intestinal and blood poisons. It's protective capacities revolve around defending against anything that can bring tension to the mind body or spirit of an individual, up to and including protection from nightmares, fever, wound infection, sorrow, anxiety, infidelity and even car accidents. Because of the shared similarities in physical and compositional traits, the garnet family of stones (for the most part) also share similar healing properties. In light of the above, the different colors and different chemistries of garnet varieties allow them to have some healing properties exclusive to that particular crystal. Green garnets are healing crystals that bring aide in meditation and focus. Orange garnets are associated with energy of commitment and can help an individual to solemnly dedicate themselves to any endeavor that captures the need for awaited attention. Purple-colored garnets possess the tenacity to lessen subtle anxieties and stress brought on by worry and unrest. They also help stabilize a mind in turmoil. The most common form of garnets readily available and more commonly known are the various shades of red. Red garnets, like many red crystals are associated with passion. Often called the "Passion Stone", red garnets represent love. The loving powers of garnet tend to reflect the attributes of devotion, bringing  the love of others to expressions of warmth and understanding. They are used to stimulate your desires, increase your sexual appetite, rekindle feelings and renew love. Though many red stones are found to heal the slings and arrows that love throws our way, it is not necessarily the sole healing function of this and other red healing gems. Along with being a gem that ignites and refuels the red fires of passion and romance, it also sets ablaze the inner fires of self-confidence, creativity and reflection. Since anger causes the body's physical temperature to increase, the opposing fire of positive energy from which garnet burns, can be used against tantrums and episodes of angst. As its color strongly resembles that of menstrual blood, Garnet is known as the stone of fertility. Women often wore it around their waist to help with their menstrual cycle. It also is used to help in circulation and the clotting of the blood. Used by ancient cultures, it has also been used to treat paralysis and exhaustion,and for detoxing and strengthening one's blood. Garnet has also been identified by healers as another of the vivid dreaming stones and one of past remembrance. Garnet's emotional and mental healing associated with purification, regeneration and warmth also carry over to it's qualities of physical healing. As a healer and protector from toxins, garnet is recognized as a remedy in the body's fight against food poisoning and blood toxicity. It is also known for aiding in treatments against infection of the kidney, lung and facial (irritations, inflammation and blemishes) area. The garnet family is also an aid to therapy for disorders of the heart (including low blood pressure), bones and spine, blood, pulmonary and even sleeping disorders. It has even been noted to provide gallstone relief and also work down to a cellular level. Because of it's warming energies, it is also used therapeutically for frostbite, aching muscles, arthritis and other discomforts relating to the joints. In early history, recordings of garnet use to treat jaundice and yellow fever were made.  Today, garnet is still used by healers to treat fever and even balance antibodies and hormones.

One of the major characteristics of garnet is that it is known as a purifier. Among it's most powerful healing abilities is as a cleanser of the bodies energies. It is used actively by spiritual healers to cleanse any type of toxins within the body and/or spirit. Not only does it renew and purify it takes purification to the next level by revitalizing and restoring a broken or damaged spirit. Garnet is widely recognized as a spiritual stone that heals and intensifies relationships. It is, however, sometimes overlooked that (aside from healing and intensifying) garnet also can transmute a relationship to a higher, more spiritual level. The garnet provides a protective influence and a calming stable vitality during use. It can be used to bring order to chaos. Garnet is the ideal stone for the protection of love and spirituality and it's symbol as an amulet of guardianship is longstanding. This stone is especially useful in magic done to keep wife, mother and family safe. Garnet is continually used to purify and heal - spiritual healing with garnet as an aide can help to increase the will to accept and flourish in life. It is worn for extra strength, both physical and emotional - it strengthens the aura and creates a shield of highly charged positive vibrations which repels negative energies. It is said to protect against thieves, (for example, a would-be mugger might pass you by because of the bad vibes you (to his senses) would emit, thus protecting you). If obtained unlawfully, a Garnet stone or amulet will bear a curse upon the wearer until it is returned to its lawful owner. Garnet amulets protect the wearer from all dangers while traveling, and according to traditional beliefs, it also protects the wearer against lightning. Garnet is often exchanged between parting friends to ensure they meet again - when given as a gift to a friend, it is a symbol of happiness and loyalty. Garnets are known to help calm anger especially anger directed toward the self, as well as sharpening self perception. Garnet in general facilitates access to spiritual planes,and so it assists astral travel and clairvoyance, plus it enhances greater vision, psychic awareness, dreams and wisdom and are used as talismans against bad dreams and depression. Sleeping with a Garnet will protect you from bad dreams and will also help you to remember your dreams. They bring to one better balance, luck, success and increased self esteem. Carry a garnet amulet with you to allow you to express emotions with a  greater ease and to encourage honesty with self. Carrying a Garnet also enhances one’s internal fire, bringing the creative powers to the stage of implementation. Use Garnet in fire, water and Mars magic. Garnet draws happiness, power, possessions and peace. It aids with patience, persistence, sexuality and purification. Use garnet to help align the emotional body to the spiritual body. Garnet is a good balancer of the yin/yang energies.  Make a Garnet the center of a wreath to help protect your home against storms.  Garnet is thought to assist in seeing into past incarnations.  Garnet can also be worn or used in magic to enhance the body’s strength. Garnet attracts abundance, and success, especially in business ventures. When engraved with the symbol of a lion, Garnet is a powerful amulet for attracting good health and success. An ancient Greco-Roman tradition claims that when engraved with the image of a dragon and worn as a talisman, the garnet brings riches, joy, and good health. It continually remains a symbol today of faith, truth and light.


Sarah the Swampwitch

Jewelry Supplier


Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader's personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.


smithsan said...

One popular garnet is chrome pyrope whose color rivals ruby. These are found in Arizona where ants bring them to the surface. Hence, they are dubbed ant hill garnets. While their color is superb they are very dark in tone. Gems are rarely faceted in sizes over one carat because of this.
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Dawtch said...

Thanks for that added info! I try to be thorough in my research on these posts, but I didn't see that anywhere, or I would have included it. How cool, the ants bring them to the surface!